Enemies in literature can come from anywhere. Childhood rivals, slighted strangers, or simple ‘Me bad guy, you good guy’ syndrome. There is one that isn’t used too often and I couldn’t even find an example. Sleep deprivation might be an added factor into that.
Lovers turning into enemies.
You would think this is an easy one to find examples of, but I found a few stumbling blocks. One is that people are more interested in ‘enemies turning into lovers’. The other is that a lot of people don’t know what enemy means. Seriously! Han Solo & Leia? Ron & Hermione? These aren’t enemies. They simply don’t get along at first. The only one on a few lists that I found that came even close was Spike & Buffy, which many people want to forget. Oh! Buffy & Angel can be my soul example here even though there were mitigating circumstances. For those that don’t know, they had sex, Angel lost his soul (worst STD ever!), and he went back to being a murderous vampire.
That’s the other thing with this scenario. It’s always something turning the lover evil like mind control, loss of soul, for their lovers own good, etc. I can’t think of a coupling where one simply turned on the other because they just started hating them. It’s always a third party or one does an act that would make real world serial killers throw up.
There are a few non-third party scenarios I can think of to use this:
- Unrequited Love– This is the easiest because it’s already one-sided and the emotions aren’t returned. You can have the one in love turn ‘evil’ to get what he/she desires even if their obsession isn’t interested. An amount of crazy stalker and obsession is required for this and you can go really far if you want.
- I’ve Had It With Your Shit– I have not seen this one ever done, but I can see it happening on a low-scale story. Somebody trying to get away from a lover that is obviously wrong for them. It wouldn’t be action-packed, but with one clinging on and the other wanting to get away, you have a lot of drama. The trigger event can be something small or big, but it’s probably smarter to go for a series of small issues to give it more distance.
Wow. That’s really it. The idea that lovers can become enemies isn’t a very popular one without that third party influence. Maybe because divorce is so prevalent and everybody fears it. Nobody wants to read about two people who went from loving each other to despising the ground they walk on. At least that’s what it seems because I still can’t figure out a pure ‘I no longer love you and wish to destroy you’ couple.